Home      DIs: Morin, Graz

Pastors Morin and Graziano

April 15, 2005

Dear Pastor Stevens and the remaining GGWO Elders,

We are writing this letter with heavy hearts and great sadness that this day has come in GGWO history. The problems you are currently experiencing are having a profound effect on our local churches here in Rome, NY and in Seneca Falls, NY as well as around the world.

Consider what we are dealing with:
Our leaders and people are hearing questions from our congregations about the ‘ministries woes’. As a result, GGWO’s reputation has been impugned by your own deafening silence. We should not have to explain these kinds of things to our congregations, you should!

We are disappointed that no one has formally responded to either Pastor Morin’s or Pastor Graziano’s letter’s. Because of that, we hold out little hope for there to be a response to this one. Please excuse the sharp tone of this letter. We speak to men, as men that have labored together almost 30 years. We will not add any fluffy or adulating comments. We see that its pastor and the hands of men seeking great things for themselves have tainted the ‘legacy’ of this church.

Our understanding of the problem:

1. The Elders have been allowed to operate in disunity and disorder due to a systemic “one elder rule culture” with no personal accountability.
2. Men and women have been ‘marked’ by Pastor Stevens himself for years and he has taught his men to follow in his footsteps. Some of the elders have done so more recently – a completely unbiblical and immoral act! We are included in that list because we dared to ask honest questions. I quote, “If Pastor said it, it must be true...” ????
3. Our names and so many others continue to be annihilated by those within and outside the church. It is not persecution; it is due to the continued sin of the present leadership of GGWO allowing this tragedy to take place dishonoring the very Lord we say we serve.
4. Pastor Stevens has been allowed to get in the pulpit, slurring words and speaking incoherently, yet the unhealthy need for validation continues. The fact that Pastor Scibelli told both Pastor Morin and Pastor Graziano “he must be ‘checked’ before each service”, states that he has a major problem but again denial is the means chosen. No pastoral accountability, just more protecting and spinning the truth.
5. Pastor Stevens’ exaltation over others and being blindly followed without real objectivity is also a sin. The standing ovations and cheering for sometimes minutes is not Christ honoring nor is it a healthy model of servant-leadership for young men and women to follow. We have heard him on tapes even encourage these ovations and rebuked those for not participating.

6. Approximately $500,000 of church money has been paid out to deals with the legal issues arising from the Lang affair. We have asked for an explanation of this and none came. The mishandling of the whole Paul Steven’s scenario on both sides has never been acknowledged. Pastor Stevens’ participation in the unbiblical handling of it goes unaddressed. No, it is only communicated as Paul’s fault exclusively. He too was marked 5 years later after attempting to go on with his life.
7. Neither Pastor Stevens nor the elders have publicly corrected his heretical statements from Friday night at Convention, as well as his “Birth Right” message, along with the absence of apologizing for his off-colored remarks about ‘five men dying who went against his ministry’.
8. Hundreds of people have left the church and the response by one of the elders is “I see it like a divorce...” or “God is sifting out those who are not sincere or don’t want the Cross”. Affiliated pastors like Pastor Brown and Pastor White, who have been with Pastor Stevens for over 30 years are cast aside, like its nothing. Pastor Kelly is maligned, Pastor Reed is maligned, Pastor Prokop is maligned, Pastor Powell is maligned, Pastor LeClair is maligned, Pastor Mawaka is marked, Pastor Williams is marked, Pastor Demeo is left like a leper after returning from 20 years of missionary service in France, the list goes back to years ago that this behavior of marking and discrediting men who disagree with something in GGWO. Dr. Lewis is run out; Pastor Guy Duff is treated like “he doesn’t fit in on the team”. Pastor Stenger is run out. Pastor Baker is run off. Even staff members right in Pastor’s Stevens office are marked and are forced to resign. Our kids at MBC&S are shunned and forced to play politics. When will it end? Yet it is propagandized that there is “revival” in Baltimore. What in heaven’s eyes is your definition of revival? This?
9. There are still hundreds of former members and leaders over the years that have been maligned and were lied about without repentance or even an acknowledgment of sin and wrong-doing!
10. Countless thousands of outsiders have access to information that could be put to rest with a single, formal and thorough communication from you addressing the above with honestly, integrity and brokenness. The declaration the Elders read on Dec. 12, 2004 was not completely forthright and lacked a spirit of brokenness as it was read. We also know that there were elders absent in the drafting meeting being referred to in the Declaration yet stated publicly that all were present.
11. Your recent vote to place Pastor Stenger forward as the pastor was undermined with private raps, phone calls, running to Pastor Stevens, and requests for letters supporting Pastor Schaller. Pastor Schaller and Pastor Scibelli, you should have both publicly supported the elder’s decision (period). In addition, the recent “open forum” ignored questions about the real problems. We have read Pastor Schaller’s letter to the affiliates and it is filled with subjective and vague inferences that make us very troubled. We do not see him as an agent of change to this current problem. But instead one who will perpetuate these problems. There are serious erroneous doctrinal premises that produce this type of cultic behavior that was addressed and attempted to be corrected at Sandy Cove. But Pastor Stevens himself rebuffed it on Easter morning. Pastor Stevens has continued to neutralize the very Board of Elders established to protect the church from these kinds of things. All the while, Pastor Steve Stevens is also left out to the wolves.
12. There has been no repentance for any of this. Instead a systematic cover-up of lies and manipulation to keep the Body of GGWO unaware of what is happening. Statements neutralizing Sandy Cove like “God led me not to go” when many leaders involved know the whole story that it was an agreed on decision with Pastor Stevens and Pastor Powell before hand that he would not attend. Or “Sandy Cove was evil”. Sad because Sandy Cove was a glimmer of hope to a sick church gasping for air.

One of the elders told Pastor Graziano on the phone last week, “Why should I have to repent for things I had no direct control over?” This kind of response demonstrates a lack of James 3:17 wisdom, true pastoral sensitivity and a shallow application of relational Christianity.
Integrity stands willing to right that which is wrong. It also is willing to recognize that ongoing passivity in the presence of wrongdoing earns as much guilt as the wrongs themselves. When David sinned with Bathsheba he tried to fix things by having her husband killed. That is what is happening - kill the husband to fix the problem! No! Repentance publicly is the only hope now for GGWO. Thou art the man! In I Sam 25:32, God sent Abigail to warn David and prevent him from sinning. In II Sam. 12:1-7, God sent Nathan to warn David and get him to repent for his sin. In GGWO, both would have been killed!

What we hope and pray you will do:

1. Pastor Stevens should be asked to simply resign. There can be no formal position or title for him now. If he does not, then the elders should remove him. Two years ago he could have in wisdom stepped down and been the pastor / emeritus. Now, not only is he not being held accountable, he is to be called Senior Pastor for life! This again demonstrates the leadership’s lack of Biblical fortitude to remove him in the presence of those in the church who will revolt if they do. Please show us where this is Biblical or even historically in church history other than in deviant movements!
2. You need to modify your new constitution to add a procedure to orderly replace the pastor. You have all told us in separate phone conversations and to the pastors at Sandy Cove that you’re not sure about the current approach and how vague it was in the by-laws. There are even some among you who refuse to vote for a new pastor, feeling it is still too soon. Remember that there are generations to follow. If this is not changed, you’ll have the same problem with the next pastor in years to come.
3. You should then revise the Church’s government to reflect a more balanced and biblical order of polity to include a plurality and equality of elders, with provisions to delegate certain responsibilities and authorities to the senior pastor and congregation.
4. An official statement or release should made public with full disclosure to each Pastor in this affiliated ministry of GGWO, who shares your name, including the overseas missionaries, outlining the changes that you intend to make as well as a timeline which will be followed.
5. A formal apology needs to be made to everyone who has been slandered, defamed, gossiped against or stolen from. Seek them out! Forget this idea that none of you are responsible for all that has happened. We are all responsible both directly and indirectly by enabling this to happen all in the name of Jesus! We are willing to stand with you and sign any apologies that are communicated because we helped enable this to continue by not saying anything when we were present when Pastor and others spoke against our brothers and sisters in raps and small groups. This is the only real revival – repentance.

This should include CRI for the years of ‘counter slander’ against them. They could be invited back in order to demonstrate the seriousness of the reforms you must make and to witness the restoration of our credibility worldwide. Letters should be sent as well to former guest speakers, who were criticized after they spoke in the church by Pastor, as we sat back and took it in, being just as guilty. Other letters need to be written to your own church family members who brought issues and were marked that have now left. Men & women like Sam Balzanna, Stu Franklin, Mark Schollaert, Ed Lutz, Dee Stoddard, Wes Simmons and the list goes on...

Please do not let the name of Christ be blasphemed any longer. Our stand at this time is:

We will not be attending conventions nor any conferences that you sponsor nor will we be sending any more students to MBC&S. We will be changing our churches names to protect those that are looking for healthy churches and find us associated with such a dangerous movement. We have been praying and will continue to pray for you that this will change but we now are taking a public, Biblical stand and stand we will.

If you choose to respond before April 30th, then we will be willing to help work these things through, along with many of the affiliates, otherwise, your silence is again your statement of decision, that we are not wanted as fellow laborers these some 30 years, and that you want to continue with business as usual. You will not have to worry about “hearing these affiliates whine anymore.” We will then gladly join the many other formerly affiliated GGWO churches in a healthy new church affiliation and go forward serving our Lord and Savior.

"The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise." Prov. 12:15

Jesus Never Fails!


Pastor Mark M. Morin
Pastor Gerald Graziano

Elders and deacons from both churches signed the document as well